MAAC restructures conference tournament to handle 11 teams


Finishing among the top six teams in the MAAC has been the ticket for basketball teams to escape the play-in round at the conference tournament. When the league expands to 11 teams next season, only the top five teams will have a first-round bye.

MAAC athletic directors unanimously approved a 20-game conference schedule and a retooling of the conference tournament to accommodate the loss of Loyola and additions of Quinnipiac and Monmouth, the MAAC announced Thursday.

The men’s and women’s opening rounds will both be played on Thursday of the tournament weekend, with matchups of 6 vs. 11, 7 vs. 10 and 8 vs. 9.

The men then have an off day Friday before playing Saturday-Sunday-Monday for the championship. The women’s quarterfinals are Friday, and their off day is Saturday.

The fourth seed will play the fifth seed in the quarters, and seeds 1 through 3 will play the lowest remaining teams.

The MAAC announced earlier this week it has extended its partnership with the the Basketball Hall of Fame and will keep the tournament at theĀ MassMutual Center in Springfield, Mass. through 2014.

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